This page is in honor of thirty-three heroes, the 9/11 flight crews:
The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial in Grapevine, Texas, serves as a national place of remembrance for those first defenders. From concept to reality, the memorial was the noble work of Foundation volunteers. 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America honors the 9/11 flight crews, and we feature the national memorial with the same hope as its creators, remembrance.
L to R, 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial Foundation Vice President Shirley Hall; sculpture and Foundation President Dean Thompson, and founder Valerie Thompson. Click on the above image to visit the Foundation’s website.
On July 4, 2008, just outside of Dallas/Ft Worth International Airport, the first national memorial to 9/11 heroes was dedicated. Shirley Hall, who is also a Flight Attendant, explained the memorial sculpture’s symbolism:
“As volunteers on this project, we have each spent time describing this statue in our attempts to raise funds to turn Valerie’s dream into a reality. From Bryce Cameron Liston’s original interpretation to the final magnificent piece of art you see here today, each of us has shared our ideas on the symbolism of the statue.
“The entire bronze sculpture and Texas limestone base sit centered on the North, South, East and West directional indicator known as the “Compass Rose.” A granite facing displays the flights and names of the crew.
“A stone column rises to support a large globe, as we all know the aviation industry spans the world. The impressive eagles, a national symbol of freedom, represent both airlines, American and United that lost flights that morning.
“The Captain stands at the highest point, his copilot to his right, as it is on the airplane. The Captain is charged with the responsibility of protecting passengers, fellow crew members and the aircraft.
“The First Officer is alert, his safety manual in hand, pointing to the western horizon, the intended destination of all four flights. Back-to-back placement of the Flight Attendants to the Cockpit Crew shows the teamwork of all flight crews, especially now — post 9/11.
“The young girl with her teddy bear represents the traveling public. She is the family on their big vacation, the newlyweds on honeymoon, the grandmother on her very first flight, the weary businessman and unfortunately now… she is the soldier off to war.
“The role best known by the general flying public is portrayed by the male Flight Attendant. He drapes a blanket around the small child. His duties show a commitment to passenger care and service.
“Indicative of her role as a safety professional, the female Flight Attendant stands in the protected position: her hand held in the International sign for “stop”, shielding her passenger from harm.
“The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial is dedicated to the 33 flight crew members that were lost and all the crew members that courageously continue to be the ever-vigilant professionals of the airline industry.
“As you return to visit in a quieter moment, please remember that this site is sacred ground. Walk quietly, speak softly, pray if you will, cry if you must; but always look to the skies.
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‘Missing Man’ flyover video
Note: This was originally posted at 11:15 pm on July 4, 2008.